Sunday, May 9, 2010

A Legacy to Live By.

I hope that as human beings we all remember where we came from, where our ancestors came from, and where our ancestors' ancestors came from...this way we can all grasp and respect the reality of what they went through and how we all stayed alive to procreate over the last thousands of years. We ate food,moved and strengthened our bodies. We hunted, gathered, planted, harvested and traveled all over this world, spreading our wisdom down to the next generations. We got here somehow, and we stayed here thorugh survival.

For a human to survive it must recieve nutritional elements and fibers, drink clean waters, and keep the body healthy and strong. In a perfect world, if all this is achieved and no diseases or ailments challenge us, we should continue on to procreate, live our lives and die of natural causes. Thousands of years ago we did not have supplements, we did not have pre- packaged foods. Nutrition was simple. Maybe not simple to get, but simple to master. Yes, we had to kill, skin and cook our game. We had to grow and reap our fruits vegatables, beans, legumes and oats, but we didn't have to deal with all the DANGEROUS ingredients and consequenses that we all have faced for the last few decades. Furthermore it is important to grasp the reality behind supplements. Yes, we did not have them "back then" however, "back then" our soils were full of minerals and nutrients. Our waters were not laden with human defication, over population affects of toxic gases and massive trash piles. Our foods were not manufactured for mass consumption, which allowed farmers "back then" to grow at a natural, slower pace. Now we have to filter our water, but it still is not enough. We have to choose between organic or non- organic, despite the dangers. We have to take medication to ease our pains from illness, mental challenges, physical retardations, obesity, and chemical dependancy. How did we get here? And why do we have to stay here. The answers, in my opinion is this; We got here because of compounding ignorance. We trusted that food was nutritional, so over the years, we trusted in our systems to deliver health to our tables. Unfortunately, capitalization got in the way. Now we have to screen our grocery lists. We have to re- teach our parents and grandparents. We have to break to them, the bad news that so many things in our cabinets are taking away from our bodies health, with out us even being aware. We have to inform them that the FDA isn't THE ULTIMATE wiseone when dicphering healthy, nutritional foods. WE ARE. Beyond re- teaching the ones who taught us, we are given a wonderful oppurtunity; to teach our kids nutritional wisdom. This is when we get to shine. This is how we get to pass our legacy's down through the next generations to come. Not from our amazing ability to market globally and increase profits in the family business 57% anually yeilding better stock profits and better bonuses at the end of the year. Instead, we should strive to pass down the legacy of WELLNESS. We should hope to create a legacy with in our bodies through strong, functional health, while strenthening and challenging our minds towards logical approaches to our diets. These are things our kids should be focusing on.....In home and in school. LOGICAL NUTRITION!

Our lands and seas nourished our ancestors. And with our help, our lands and seas will continue to, as long as we nourish her soils and respect her waters, otherwise food will die and we will die too. Very simple. This possible outcome is now evident through the unfortunate situation in the Gulf of Mexico. Our actions yeild consequenses, in every dimenson of space and time. It is inescapeable. For every action there is a reaction. For every cause there is an effect. Things do NOT just happen. They are created. Bad situations or good situations all have a beginning and an end. This may take hundreds of years, it may take thousands of years, or it may never ever happen, unfortunately our generation will not ever find the answers to these questions. We must realize that if we do not start simplifing and cleaning- up our diets, this world will continue to produce and market unnutritonal, dangerous foods. Obesity will continue. Capitalization off these foods will continue. Bad habits with in our lifestyles will continue. And the need for synthetic, addictive drugs will continue as long as we keep our bodies out of balance. We must strive in passing on conscious, progressive awareness to the importance of our internal health. This is not just for a certain "group" of people. This is a movement that every human being, from every demographic must participate in. It is our responsibility, as humans to care for ourselves, each other and of course our animals, plants and elements. This way we can continue to pass down wisdom and abundance to our kids, our kids' kids...and our kids' grandkids...Start your legacy today!

Thursday, April 29, 2010

Spring Cleaning!

We are on the tail end of spring, and I can smell the coconut oil of the south Florida summer's already. This time of the year always motivates me to get my body buring clean and nutritionally balanced for the impending heat we will be living in until fall. It's hard to function in our summer temperatures alone, with out added baggage, so simplifying and perfecting your diet now, before the heat, will prepare you better for the extra calories burnt and save you from binging on ice- cream cones and slushies.

Any food choice, depending on where you live, is of great advantage when it complements the seasons. If your local growers are displaying georgous citrus, beautifully colored squash and crunchy apples, jump on it! Don't go for the fruits and vegetables that are out of season just because you like them. Get creative and go with the "ripe" picks, so that your body starts naturally turning over for the new season ahead. Aside from naturally occurring, in- season and indigenous produce, it is very important to not "get hungry" through out the day and especially at night before bed. We have to keep our gas tanks full, or else we will stall and CRASH and be in dire need of a quick tow to functionability. And the quickest "tow trucks" are the easiest to find; candy bars, sodas, muffins, cookies, chips, or pizza slices. Prepare your self for eating consistently through out the day. Pick and plan your meals when you wake up. This is when your body is at its optimal chemical balance. You've slept, rested, regenerated and re- saturated your body with all the neccessary hormones to "survive" the day. This abundant and balanced state is why some people claim to be "not hungry" when they get up in the morning, causing them to skip breakfast and not eat until they are "hungry" for lunch. This is how we set our bodies into an unbalnced hurricane and tend to be "starving" around dinner. Our bodies are in tune with what it wants, unfortunately our minds, sometimes are not. When the cravings in our mind, caused by chemical imbalances (ie; low blood sugar, high estrogen), overtake our good judgement, we begin a destuctive cycle of poor food choices that lead to more chemical imbalances, causing a domino effect towards unhappiness. Our bodies crave whole foods and when we deprive our bodies of fresh, in- season produce, humanely grown livestock, and pure, dominantly water- based fluids we begin to crave the latter; sweets, salts and grease. Our bodies know that when it is deprived of proper fats, known as Omega's, good sodiums such as sea salts, or good sugars such as fruits, vegetables and complex carbohydrates (tomatoes, potatoes, and strawberries), it will send a chemical message to the body saying " survive! find! obtain nutrients immediately! This is when we have that sudden, unescabable urge to eat potato chips, french fries, chocolate bars or soda. These are all high- sugar, high- sodium or easy fixes to our bodies imbalance, the absolute INCORRECT way of obtaining our nutrients.
Stay on top of the natural neccessities of your body. Try to limit your "binge days' down to a couple days a week, and eventually 1 a week. These are the days that you can eat your treats, however, on the other days, saturate your body with fresh produce and whole grains. Even if your mind is craving a burger and fries, over power it and replace it with lean red meat and a baked potato. This way, when you do have that burger, it is well deserved, moderated and enjoyed so much more. Try to notice how much whole food (produce, fresh cooked meats, grains and beans) you eat in a day, compared to non- whole foods (sliced bread, lunch meat, applesauce, yogurt, salted peanuts). Anything that has been processed in anyway, ie; salted, pasturized, pre- cooked, preserved, cured, canned, dried, packaged for shelf life, or sweetened unaturally is non- whole. These are the foods you should be restricting from your diet. Focus on a goal. For every non- whole food meal or snack you eat, balance it out with 2-3 whole food meals. You will find that your body is much happier. This is not easy to do! I am not super woman, and no one is perfect. However, it takes dicipline to stay on track regularly so that a couple binge days a month don't off- set your internal health and spin you into a unhealthy lifestyle.

I often hear people say "I take a multi, I feel fine." Define "fine". Are we conditioned to deal with and ignore certain symptoms that our body gives out about our internal health? It is of much importance to self- educate ourselves on the basics of our bodies. This allows us to focus on preventative measures, rather that dealing with an illness or disease. We age everyday naturally, and illness, sickness and obiesity is a way our body tells us that we are off somewhere. There are so many unfortunate situations that we may not have control of. Babies are born with issues that cannot be cured, kids develop autism, adults, kids and infants are diagnosed with cancers. It is these situations that grab our hearts and make us wonder why? and how? However, if we are lucky, we are born with healthy bodies and sharp, open minds. Among the many years we travel through to get us to the places and situations that arise that demand our healthy bodies and open minds, we can only hope that we have learned the correct lessons that keep these vehicles in good, naturally intended health. We are hopefully born with a clean- slate, it should be our primary focus as the human species to keep that slate shiny and clean in order to preserve our longevity and better our generations to come after us.

Friday, March 26, 2010

One Day at A Time......

We wake up in the morning, thinking that today is the day! "i'm gonna smoke only one ciggarette today" or " I'm not gonna drink a soda today" or "I'll allow myself one candy bar, or one cookie" ...... fully revved up to turn over a new leaf and start some new lifestyle choices. So we dump out the ciggarettes, we throw away the soda cans and we make our friends promise that they won't tease us with cookies..... Two weeks later, we are back to our old habits. Despite how amazing we feel during our boycott, despite the way our body starts to change and tighten and strengthen, despite the known health risks and consequences we may face in the event we continue down our "unhealthy roads"..we still find our selves throwing back diet sodas and pepperoni pizza. Our minds are the culprits, and we are being controlled by our foods! How do we get control back? How do we start to say "No" when our hands are clenching around the cookie jar? ....How about this; don't think, just react.
Some mornings, I work at a little, quaint beach restaraunt. We serve an amazing breakfast menu that offers a healthy, fresh fruit salad, or fresh eggs and multi grain toast, smoked salmon or even eggwhite omlettes. Furthermore, we offer a choice of chocolate chip pancakes, bagel and cream cheese or a belgium waffle, and even eggs benedict. So for the beginning of the morning, I'm disihing out what ever it is my guests are ordering, I have no say in what they eat. I might have to smell homefries and bacon under my nose for 2 hours before I get a chance to eat. This means that if everyone is eating like little piggies, I'm getting all the aromas of Belgium waffles, sausage links, syrup and bacon. All these aromas are getting into my senses, into my brain and eventually rumbling my stomach and making my mouth water. So unconciously, I walk over to my computer, touch my fingers to the order menu and punch in my breakfast, with out even thinking about "what I want". I know what I want; I want eggs benedict and pancakes with bacon and syrup, because thats what is making my mouth water and tummy grumble. However, after my fingers touch the screen a couple times, and swiftly, with- in 10 minutes I have my amazing breakfast before me. 2 eggs scrambled, dry multigrain toast, no homefries, sub fruit cup. I eat like a robot, not even thinking about how much I really want to stuff two pieces of bacon in my throat, because if I did, I would, because I'm thinking about how good it will taste. But if we don't think, and we just do what we know is better for us, we may find it a lot easier than dealing with the indigestion and feelings of guilt and the extra pounds in our jeans.
Easier said than done? Abso- friggin- loutely! I am no angel when it comes to junk foods! Trust me! I may have some in depth knowledge on how our body deals with foods and how foods change our bodies, but when it come to the mind, I am not worthy. Our minds, over the years of growing up, dealing with stress, boyfriends, girlfriends, family members, family gatherings, friends and cook- outs etc...the list goes on...all the "moments" create memories. Because food is fuel, a good percentage of our memories revolve around food, we just may not realize it. Growing up with an Italian father, food was everything. You aren't even hungry and you have atleast two different people stuffing food in your face. Food is health, wealth and happiness. Sharing meals and cooking is the centerpiece to most families, and with these "moments" come emotions. We link happy thoughts with "happy- meals" B.B.Q's, Thanksgiving Dinner, Sunday Pizza night. You name it, there is an emotion behind it. We compound all the years of egg- nog and chocolate- chip cookies around Christmas time and you can betcha that there are more good memories attached to cookies and egg nog than there are bad....So what is my point? Stop thinking about how good food tastes, and ask your self.."is it really good for me, or does it just taste good?" and further that by considering the other habits we may hold on to. Smoking. I smoked for 10 plus years. Many people do not know that abut me. I still can't believe it sometimes, but I did. I don't anymore, though, and my reason: it's not good for my body.Period. Exclamation point. Do you need a better reason to prevent you from basically killing yourself. Yes your addicted, because you're doing it everyday, despite the necessity for oxygen and antioxcidants and despite the minerals that it is stripping from your body. Stop thinking about quitting, stop thinking about drinking more water, stop thinking about not drinking soda or scotch,Just do it already! Life goes by quicker than you think, especially when your struggling with ailments.

Monday, February 15, 2010

The A B C 's of nutrition.

Always Be in Control! matter how "busy" you are, or how "stressed" you are or even despite the fact that you have to keep some unhealthy foods in your home for your kids or spouse. These reasons are not reasons to eat unwisely, but instead they could be considered proof of your lack of knowledge. Being "in control" can mean so many different things, but in order to gain control of your decisions pertaining to nutrition, you have to have a reason to stay away from certaing things, you must have knowledge on the consequenses of eating unwisely, and have the guts to admit that you may not be eating enough of the right things and too much of the wrong.
Getting "in control" is dynamic! And once you grasp it, it will be with you forever! Our foods serve a purpose; fuel. Fuel makes things go. With out food, we would die. So with this concept, lets think of the quality of different types of fuel. Let's put aside the price factor, and just focus on the efficiency factor. When we choose foods, it's usually because we are hungry. After you eat a food, you should feel good, like you've accomplished something. You have fueled your body. You are in control of your body. Yet, sometimes, you eat a food, and you feel horrible after eating it. Whether it's emotional guilt or physical discomfort, you have lost control of your body, you are allowing that food and it's power (appeal), to control you.
Being controlled by foods is done subconciously. Our brains create connections with foods and the way it makes us feel. Then it continually reinforces that connection, creating a habit. Good or bad. The science behind nutrition and our psyche is quite profound, and we should never underestimate the power behind it. Slowly but surely, everyday of our lives, we are reinforcing some sort of nutritional habit, good or bad. Everyday the things we chose to eat, for whatever reasons we chose to eat them, define our habits. Anyone that knows me understands the depth of my addiction to chocolate chip cookies and brownies. Unfortunately I allow this. And unfortunately, sometimes, most times, I let that emotional surge of pleasure control my actions that steer me towards the cookie jars. We all have our favorite foods, and some enjoy them in a healthy way. However, when you find your self feeling sad after eating certain foods, or emotional for long periods of time. Step back to reconsider if the short pleasure phase is worth the set backs these foods put on your body. Break a week down into 7 days, and everyday acknowledge your eating habits for that particular day. For example, "Every Monday I eat two salads and a bowl of cereal. Every Tuesday I have a burger and pancakes, and usually a soda." When you verbally and visually acknowledge the things you consume, you accept responsibility. This gives you control. Try grouping together foods. For example processed or unprocessed, or animal fat or vegatable fat, artificially sweetened and naturally sweetened. If you have to, keep a little journal, but simply acknowledging the types of food you put into your body will help you constructively evaluate your eating habits. Once you group them, try realize how much processed foods you eat in comparison to whole foods, figure out how much artificial sweetners you consume incomparison to plant derived sweetners such as honey and stevia. Calculate how much animal fat is in your diet, how much plant fat is in your diet, how much water and alcohol is in your diet. Realize how many carbs you consume derived from artificial sugar or high fructose sugar. And last but not least, acknowledge how you feel after you eat. Acknowledge if there is a difference in your energy or attitude, try to recognize if you feel gassy, bloated, tired, or if you have immediate bowel movements, immediate urination, or nausea.Critique critique critique!
Notice I didn't say food groups, but instead I used the word "type". Presently, our foods have gone way beyond the food group boundaries. We now have some pretty technical science that goes into creating our foods, drinks and supplements. This could be looked at in both a positive and negative light. On the unfortunate side, we have artificial ingredients that make up our foods today. Many components are not broken down by our bodies and are creating tumors, acne, rashes, cancers, mood swings, liver and kidney disorder, blood disorders, heart complications, birth defects, etc. I'm sure some of you are saying "Oh well, only in large doses over time." However, all we have is time and I like my time. Artificial sweetners are popular because of the low/no calorie marketing, yet not many basic consumers have been sufficiently educated on what exactly makes up that sweetner, to allow them to make a more educated decision on weather this product is beneficial or harmful. The standards set forth to regulate our food and drinks are not as strict as they should be. The human body is quite resilient, which is possiby why many foods and drinks hit the supermarket shelves, yet every year a new research comes out highlighting that something that we love to eat daily may cause cancer, or birth defects or heart disease. So in a preventitive manner, i seek to enlighten as many as I can on the possible consequeses of eating certain "types" of foods. To allow you to group together certain foods (soda and "light"yogurts, or ritz crackers and cereal) to regulate how much of that food type you consume on a weekly and daily basis.
On a brighter note, thanks to our crafty scientist we are now able to supplement many neccessary minerals and vitamins. With ease, we can read a label and drink a shake and taa daa..we have all of our vitimains and minerals for the day. Wonderful! We can regulate and detoxify our digestion systems with a simple drink, we can cleanse our blood, our colons, and our minds knowing that for every area we wish to become more regulated on, we can find a drink, bar or pill that does the job. Science and nutrition are a great team! Unfortunately, our best interest is not aways the top priority. We live in a capatalistic society! Everything has a market. Ever realize how some of the most affordable foods are sometime the least healthy? Fortunately, we all have brains that like to process new info, so this should motivate us to go out and research the foods that we eat most, and see if they are harmful, in any dose.

Saturday, January 9, 2010

Identifying the Necessity for Change.

Verbally expressing that you "want to make a lifestyle or diet change" and actually stepping away from your self, identifying problem areas that demand change, and changing those areas, are two seperate animals. When we decide that we want to improve our fitness by increasing endurance training, strength training, muscle gain or fat- loss, this all demands nutritional knowledge on some level. Yet we are quick to assume that we know what works with out really knowing "HOW" or "WHY" it works. We must indentify the reason behind the necessity for change. Why do we have to burn off excess fat? Why do we need to strengthen our back muscles? Why do we have to increase our endurance? In order to fully utilize foods and liquids for their purpose, we must understand what they do inside our bodies. Saying that you do not want to eat carbs so that you can lose weight is not the correct approach. Yet stepping back, "Googling" the word "carbohydrate" and taking an hour out of your day to educate your self to fully understand the definition and the purpose of a carbohydrate with in our bodies will allow you to confidently and realistically create a plan that works FOR YOU.

When the New Year rolls around, many people are quick to jump on turning over a new leaf. We grab onto the latest fitness and diet fads and immediately assume that "I as well would benefit from no carbohydrates". Integrating new actions into our day for the sake of health is imperative, yet understanding the processes behind these action are even more imperative. I very often meet people that don't eat carbs or sugars. Most are pretty smart about it. Some have been steering clear of white flour, mashed potatoes and drinks with high- sugar counts, yet some even consider oatmeal, whole wheat breads and bananas a threat to their physique. Yes, there are some people out there that are unfortunate to have some sort of intollerance to certain foods, and many do deal with it in smart ways. Yet when I hear a person express that they want to loose weight so they are going to eat "no carbs", but then I see them drink a diet coke. I wonder if they are chosing the right battle. Do we fully understand the thought process behind "No- Carb- Diets"? Or are we just grasping onto these concepts because we think that carbs make us gain weight? Weight gain is caused by more than one reason. And every person gains weight for different reasons. Muscle gain yeilds weight gain. Water intake yeilds weight gain. Constipation yeilds weight gain. High- sodium diets yeild water retention which yeilds weight gain. Fat- gain is the same, some hold on to fat because of internal PH levels, which are caused by diets or stress. Some hold on to weight because of lack of movement, and lack of muscle demand. It is my presonal opinion that body weight is not a good tool to measure when fine tuning your fitness goals. It is an interesting tool, but not a very good representation of what we are working on achieving. I always pay attention to my clothes and how they fit me. May sound silly, but it has worked for me. My body weight fluctuated so much with in a month. If I am training and super lean, I weight more than when I'm being "lazy Kristen" and not doing any strength training. Most know that muscle weighs more than fat. Muscle demands more than fat.( Burns more calories) When we over load our bodies with white enriched flours, fatty animal meat, processed or artificial sugars, this is very demanding and difficult for the body to deal with. So illness, weight gain or even obesity may prevail. But assuming that one particular piece to a puzzle is the sole culprit on a nutrional shortcoming is a falacy .We need to start thinking differently. Diets are based on a process of our bodies. When we seek an action we demand a change. Going on a diet may consist of having a regimented, professionally drawn out "food plan", or it may be as simple as no fatty red meats, no white flour and clean proteins. The processes of our bodies all demand a specific formula of nutirients, minerals, chemicals, protiens, sugars etc. If we are lacking a piece to the puzzle, the process will not be carried out.. Fire will not ignite with out the correct blend of fuel and oxygen.If your going to go on a specific diet, educate your self on the reason you are going on this diet. Constructively criticize your habits and lifestyle. Find out why we gain weight for instance, or find the explination for muscle building. Learn how your body breaks down food, on a simple level, and a whole new world will open up for you! Your wellness and fitness goals will start to become reality with in a whole different realm of clarity.Everyone has the ability to learn something new everyday. We just have to desire the knowledge, and admit that maybe our way isn't the best way, or even the correct way. Educate before you attack! This will allow you to fine tune your habits easily, by giving you clarity with in your choices and an understanding of your body and what it's doing on the inside. Things will start to make sense. You will have control of your body again! Understanding why you gain weight, why you tone down, and why your body reacts the way it does will give you the confidence to assess yourself and create your own personal plan toward your fitness and nutritional goals. Happy New Year!

Monday, December 14, 2009

The Desire for Change.

So maybe lately you've been feeling off. Or maybe for a long while you've been feeling off, and just haven't known how to figure out what is wrong. Taking a simplified, holistic approach to deducing your issues may be a good, easy place to start. As human beings, we have the inate ability to realize we have something wrong with our bodies when we are feeling run down, yet few have the ability or time to seek knowledge on how to remedy it. Many are quick to take sythetics, like a form of aspirin or cold and flu medicine to help feel better. It is my belief that anything unnatural will eventually stop helping and possibly hurt more in the long run. Whether from creating a false sense of wellness, or forming a dependency from a low thresh hold for pain or feeling ill. Sythetics do not cure, they with hold symptoms, brush them under the rug, so that you can get on with your life. Yet the real goal should be preventing ever getting to a point where you feel as if sythetics are the only answer. If you have no serious illness, then it is my strong belief that simplicity is better. Going out and buying numerous synthetic, unnatural medicines can be a waste of money and energy.
Imbalances in the body are quickly and commonly aquired, but yet rarely identified, unless we can go have blood test or urine test done. We are quick to brush off mineral definciencies as just having a bad day or a long week or a rash or skin condition that will not go away. Imbalances can be as suttle as feeling tired or as serious as no energy every day, for a month. Sudden mini seizures, moments of paralysis, dizzy spells, confusion, sleeping all day, broken bones, anemia etc. Even certain mood swings or rashes can be caused by our bodies chemical levels. Any amount of time spent deficient is too much. When we start to notice changes in skin, changes in urine and bowels and changes in energy, that should be a hint that something is off. When it goes beyond that, it is possible that something more serious is underlying and you should seek professional medical help.

We must always keep in consideration our natural human cycles that may affect our energy. For instance, in women it is usually our menstruation cycles that drain us. The loss of blood through our periods, and also all the chemicals that our bodies produce that are flooding our bloodstreams. Rising and falling of body temperatures caused by our bodies regulating our normal body processes such as digestion, metabilization and elimination. Fighting off viruses with out us even being aware may be another cause of our fluctuating body temperatures. For men it can be in times of when they are sexually active and not supplementing the mineral zinc lost through ejaculation, or from too much or lack of physical activity and the unbalanced levels of hormones in the body. A chemical imbalance may have us feeling bummed out. These sometimes can be remedied by supplementing our adrenal glands or our pituitary glands.These glands are responsible for producing and supplying chemicals into our bodies when certain activity demands it.
The body uses hormones for even the most simplist of tasks, calming your body down for the evening and starting to shut it off for sleep, cooling off after an argument, or even telling our bodies when to stop eating. Our body uses hormones for more physical demands such as competition desire, sexual desire and survival necessities. Bottom line is hormones are the keys to simple and complex fuctions of the body. If we are unable to supply these hormones, or supply too much, we get out of focus and off track in our personal lives. These chemicals make our body run, sleep, increase heart rate, decrease heart rate, feel hungry, feel satisfied, feel sexually aroused, feel fear, excitement and sadness. Our body would not run with out these chemical messages. Sometimes these chemical messages get confusing, mixed- up or just insuffcient, and this is when we feel tired, unmotivated, over eat, under eat, can't sleep, can't wake, and sad. When this is the case, instead of allowing this to wreck our day or cause us to seek synthetics, we must create a personal rescue plan, that we can follow, to pull us out safely and allow us to go on with our days, weeks and goals!

The human body was deisgned to work effeciently. When it is not working correctly we must start to pin point where we may be lacking. Our bodies are a sustained blend of systems that work together. Our brain gives us the logic to decide what is beneficial and what is harmful, but with out the underlying knowledge we will not know the difference. Let's start simple. Nutrients: do you drink water and eat whole foods? Rest and rejuvination: do you sleep well and exercise? If you answered yes, yes, yes and yes then we may go on. If you have answered no to any, then there is nothing that can be fixed unless you choose to, consistently. For those of you that are saying "Well of course I drink water, who doesn't drink water?" You would be suprised how many people do not. Fruit juices are not sufficeint. Ice cubes in our fruit juices are not sufficeint. In fact, if you are not drinking water, then the fruit juices are possibly hurting you by dehydrating you more from the sugars, especially if they are processed and from concentrate. Sugar= acid. Acid is never a good thing! Soda, not even in the smallest doses is good for you. There is absolutely no nutritional value to these drinks. They hurt your body, why some choose to drink these on a regular basis astounds me. Water water everywhere! Make it easily accessable, put water bottles everywhere in your house. A portable filtered water jug by your bed, reusable water bottles in your car, purse, knapsacks, at work, EVERYWHERE! Water allows nutrients to travel accordingly as well as toxins to move out of the body. Water protects the skin, protects the most delicate tissues of our bodies and makes every function of the body possible. It is impossible to live with out it.

When we sleep, our body is said to be in an anabolic state. This is said to be the time when our body goes through all the necessary rejuvination processes in order to keep our immune, muscular, skeletal and nervous systems strong. With out this anabolic phase, the secretion of our growth hormones would be less, much less. Infact it is said that in the first hour after on set sleep is when the largest amount of GH (growth hormone) is secreted. Inhibiting these natural processes to occur inhibits each human being from reaching its full physical and mental capabilities.

O.k so you drink a good amount of water every day, hopefully close to a gallon, atleast, more if you are active, and you plan your days and nights to allow full cycles of sleep each night. Now we can access your diet. Our species, in the beginning, were quite primitive. At night we sleep and rejuvinate, in the day we obtain nutrients and reproduce our species. This is as basic as it gets. If you understand that concept of human beings, as silly as it may sound, then you will look upon your bad eating habits as a waste of time and money, arrelevant and harmful to the species. This perspective will hopefully give you reason to seek and instill more logical eating habits into your lifestyle. Let's go back to the beginning: think about what humans ate as cave men and women...Silly! I Know! But just entertain the thought for a moment. Water, plants, animals, and grains. Thats basically it! That right there is the essence of life. So why do we go beyond that and expect to stay healthy? If we were meant to eat fresh fruits and vegetables, why do we eat canned and expect to stay healthy? If we evolved eating fresh, wild, chemical free fish, beef and chicken they why do we go for processed, deep fried chicken tenders and fish sticks. What about our whole grains? Whole grains in essence are the "WHOLE part of the GRAIN", so why do we bleach it, enrich it, process it, eat it, and expect to stay healthy? Come on everyone! It's not rocket science! If you are beginning to feel like you are tired and run down, or have skin conditions that will not clear up, or even mood changes; access your eating habits. How much of your diet consists of the 4 essentials? (WATER, PLANTS, ANIMAL, WHOLEGRAINS) And by this I mean fresh, chemical free, and unprocessed. If we put something into our bodies it has to go somewhere. Our bodies were not meant to break down sythetic matter easily. This puts excess stress on our bodies. If you put a peice of plastic in your mouth and swallow it, where will it go? Hopefully your body will reject it and expel it through vomiting, or maybe it will pass through your stomach, into your intestines and out through your bowels. Your body will not break it down. If it's not leaving then it's staying, and I don't want it staying. If it stays, your body has to put it somewhere, your body will store it somewhere. Maybe it will be stored into our fat deposits, maybe it will find its way into our joints or intestines. If this doesn't sound enjoyable to you then why do you cook food that is wrapped in saran wrap in a microwave. Why do you cook with plastic containers, or use Teflon products? Drink non-organic milk? Why do you eat artificial sweetners genetically engineered by humans, or flour thats been bleached and is laden with chlorine? Non- fat butter and cooking spray? In my opinion, it is best to eat natural, fattening foods rather than unnatural, non -fattening foods. If our bodies are healthy and we are moving, our bodies will use the fat and burn it off. On the other hand, it may not eliminate some of the residues and material used to create that "non- fat" or "artificially sweetened" product. I'd rather walk for an hour on the beach with my dog than deal with the consequences of eating plastic and harmful chemical particles when I age.

With all the hype on organics, it is easily sterotyped for the extremist. I would like to simplify the meaning of organics to help you understand the purpose and importance. Organics in essence are pure, unengineered, unmodified, natural form. You can "google" it and deduce your own perspective. Yet here is my personal view. Our bodies are organic matter which require usable nutrients to function. If the body cannot use it, do not put it into your body. When we consume products with sythetic hormones or unorganic chemicals, those particles are now in our bodies. Like I said earlier: either it stays or it goes. Our bodies were not meant to break down certain things, so why even put it into our bodies? Why put the extra stress on our bodies? We already have enough against us. With our polluted waters, air and soils. With all the unidentifiable products and material in our foods when we eat out. The ever mutating viruses that are forever challenging our immune systems. And the almighty cancer that continually takes our loved ones in a sad, slow process.Despite our ever changing society, with the ease of fast and canned foods, it is "easier" to just grab something quick. Shame on you! It is easy to forget what is important; You! The marketing behind fast food producing a capital gain. Capital gain is money driven, not health driven. Do not consider for one moment that fast food chains had your health and best interest in mind. Thankfully, trends are changing. The heat is on! Fast food chains are being forced to offer healthy snacks, yet this does not mean they are going all the way into your corner. Be smart. Decide smart. Live smart. Yes I know we all enjoy eating and cooking and my goodness, there is some amazing food in this world! But, food is meant to nurture, to give life! Not to make us tired, ill, or cancer laden. Simplify your habits, be concious in your actions, and be logical with your decisions. Just because someone manufactures a food product does not mean it is nutritional. Educate yourself on what is dangerous about processed foods. Find out what people do to mass manufacture their product. Compare organics to non- organics. Consider another choice besides the one you have been conditioned to make from either the way you were brought up, or by what your paradigm tells you is correct. Eat what you need first, then you can enjoy what you like second.

Our personal success is dependant on our efforts. If our health is not maintained, our body will eventually fall to illness or obeisity or both, and as a result we will struggle to achieve our personal goals with focus and vigor. We may slowly give up on goals we' ve set because of our loss of motivation, becoming overweight or weak. Feeling grumpy and lazy because of poor nutrition should not be the reason we fail in life. This is not an option! We must strive to keep our eyes on the prize despite the obstacles. In the end, we really only have ourselves. We may have rock solid friends, amazing spouses or partners, and a wonderful supportive family, but they do not decide what we put and what we keep out of our bodies. When basic daily tasks become a struggle, we must have the ability to personally remedy the issue by first identifying that it is not beneficial to our bodies and then, without thought, initializing a "retreat". We do not have to be dependant on doctors and synthetic drugs all the time. We can start independently deducing little things that do not add to our lives and moderate them, and hopefully rid of them completely. This way we will create a cycle of nurishment to our bodies. We must protect the species! Why kill it with cigarettes and excessive alcohol, lack of sleep and a poor diet. Identifying it is the easy part. Bringing yourself above it, and away from it is when it gets challenging.

Monday, November 16, 2009

First things first

When I talk to people about nutrition and wellbeing, I notice that many people still need to learn the basics about their bodies. Some may be 18 years old, others are in their 50's. Though it is very normal for me to find that everyone still needs to get back to square one. I find it impossible for me to hold back my opinion in reference to their personal habits. And me being a 28 year old bartender poses an issue because people already do not want to hear what I have to say when it comes to real life outside of my bar. I am constantly finding a repetative cycle in many people. It is unfortunate that many do not understand the purpose of nutrition. Alongside of that, many do not realize that a lot of the things we eat are nutrient deficient, yet they feel that they are getting all of their bodies needs everyday, and wonder why they are always tired and sick. When a mild or severe health issue arises, it is safe to consider the basics; nutrition. Since our bodies are useless with out it, we should naturally consider the first step as such. So why do we constantly seek beyond the first step and seek the fourth or the fifth. If your tired and weak and experiencing dizzy spells everyday, and you blantantly say that you don't take a multi, why do you consider taking synthetics first? Now traditional medicine is amazing, I am no doctor, yet I know my body and I know the basics, and unless you know your basics, you will always be dependant on someone else to fix you. We are capable of deducing simple "fixes" to many of our own common ailments. If your sick, drink good low-sugar -organic juices, lots of supplemented vitamin C, lots of water and sleep and load up on your super foods. Guarantee, 9 out of 10 times, if you follow that religiously, the next morning your body will thank you. You can chose the other path, and go to the store and buy nyquil and dayquil and cough drops and Tropicana orange juice, and feel like crap for the next 7 days because of all of the sugar and chemicals that you just put into your already taxed, acidic body. Common sense should lead us all into certain rituals that our bodies really need, but unfortunately many people haven't the first clue where to begin, so they chose the easiest. And that is sometimes the worst. If something changes in your life, you should be able to identify what it is. Are you stressed, are you overworked, are you finacially unable to afford good foods? If this is the case, this should not be a reason to become mal nourished. When I say mal nourised, there are many levels of it. You don't have to be in a third- world country to experience mal nutrition. If you are a female, over the age of 21,you have normal periods, you are vegatarian and you do not take supplements, you are mal nourished. You may be amazing in your yoga practice, and drink lot's of soy milk and water, yet your body continually seeks iron and calcium reserves to carry out daily tasks. By reserves I mean "reserves", meaning; in- emergencies- break glass "reserves". If you continue to live this way, you may not begin to feel reprocusions until your 30's. They may be mild; always tired, low mood swings, bad sleep patterns. Or they may be more severe, dizzy spells, no energy, even after eating, seizures, and eventually impending osteoperosis and anemia. Then with age, you adopt the comon phrase "I'm just getting older". And then you accept that you are always tired, and your doctors never help, and the medication has too many side affects and you give up. I don't want this to be the case anymore. When I talk to people, many already have their minds made up. Nothing I say will change their minds. They have "tried everything". And this bothers me, especially when they are my friends and family. When I know that if you would just try one thing for one month you would be amazed at the changes in not only your physical body, but also your mental state. And naturally your mind will allow more knowledge to flow in and you will begin to adopt new habits and new paradigms. Yes this is a slow process, and yes this is something that you have never done before, but I can honestly say that NOBODY has tried EVERYTHING.